Sponsoring Fun -- A Good Employer
My employer uses a lot of OpenSource software and develops custom applications with Perl. It has a very strong tech team with ties to a number of online projects and where possible it likes to give things back.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been handed some money with which to show our appreciation to the different OpenSource communities whose work we use. While it’s not a huge amount of money it is both a nice gesture on the companies part (it shows they understand both the advantages we can reap from OpenSource and encourages it’s technical staff to stay in contact with their peers) it’s also one of the highlights of my job. I’ve helped organise different events in the past and there is nothing quite as fulfilling as having someone come over and say “We think you’re doing a great job, here’s some money, keep up the good work!"; but this time I get to deliver the good news!
We’ve already pledged some money to YAPC::Europe 2005, an event all of our developers will be visiting and some will hopefully be speaking at, and I’ve got a list of another half a dozen or so events that’ll be getting emails from me over the course of the year. Sometimes my job rocks.